"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

How does cold weather affect your health?

Image: Thinkstock

Your immune system, skin, balance and heart could also be in danger.

At risk: the immune system

During the winter months, people spend more time indoors and in close contact with one another, akin to in stores, malls, and restaurants. This signifies that flu, coughs and colds spread more easily.

what are you able to do: “Get a flu shot, wash your hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer, and cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not your hands,” says Dr. Salmon.

At risk: Heart

Cold weather acts as a vasoconstrictor, which suggests it narrows the blood vessels. This increases the danger of heart attack.

what are you able to do: Dress warmly when going outside, with a hat, gloves and a warm coat. Avoid vigorous outdoor activities that stress your heart, akin to shoveling snow.

At stake: balance

Icy sidewalks could make it easier to fall, putting you in danger for fractures.

what are you able to do: Avoid slippery surfaces if possible. Wear shoes or boots with heavy textured soles that may grip surfaces. Use a handrail, even in case you think you don't need one.

In Danger: Vol

Dry winter air can suck the moisture out of your skin.

what are you able to do: Use an oil-based moisturizer to forestall evaporation. Bathe in lukewarm — not hot — water. Use a humidifier to replenish moisture in the highest layer of skin.

At risk: body temperature

Older adults are vulnerable to hypothermia, through which the body's core temperature drops too low. “Prolonged exposure to mild cold can also cause it,” says Dr. Salmon.

what are you able to do: Bundle up in case you're going outside, and concentrate on signs that your body isn't handling the cold well, akin to stiffness within the neck, legs and arms. Call 911 in case you suspect you or someone you recognize is affected by hypothermia.